Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Research Points to Potential Therapy for Tumor-Associated Epilepsy

Glioma, one of the most deadly and common types of brain tumor, is often associated with seizures, but the origins of these seizures and effective treatments for them have been elusive. Now a team funded by the National Institutes of Health has found that human gliomas implanted in mice release excess levels of the brain chemical glutamate, overstimulating neurons near the tumor and triggering seizures.

The researchers also found that sulfasalazine, a drug on the market for treating certain inflammatory disorders, can reduce seizures in mice with glioma.

About 80 percent of people with glioma will experience at least one seizure during their illness, often as the first symptom. About one-third of patients will develop recurring seizures, known as tumor-associated epilepsy. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., whose death was caused by a malignant glioma in August 2009, was diagnosed after having a seizure 15 months earlier.

"Seizures are a frequent symptom of glioma and are often poorly controlled by epilepsy medications," said Jane Fountain, Ph.D., a program director at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Understanding why the seizures occur and how to counteract them could help us substantially improve the quality of life for people with glioma."

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110911145157.htm

No comments: